41 points of interest within walking distance of the 11 new Blue Line stations opening March 16

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The 9.3-mile Blue Line Extension will open today – Friday, March 16.

It would be tough to overstate the significance of the first extension of the LYNX light rail system since the original Blue Line opened in 2007. The new 9.3-mile Blue Line Extension (BLE) opens at 10 a.m. today, continuing the line from 7th Street Station in Uptown to UNC Charlotte’s campus. There’s a countdown clock.

It’s a monumental addition to Charlotte’s public transit system and will bring with it tremendous change for surrounding neighborhoods.

If you were around to see South End before the light rail rolled through, you understand the development that’s coming — for better or worse — to Optimist Park, NoDa, University City and other neighborhoods along the new route.

Look for celebrations and deals along the route today. Subsecreto, a cafe and retail shop at the new 9th Street Station, is offering free coffee from 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. today when you show them your light rail ticket.

And Novel NoDa, an apartment community at the 36th Street Station, will be partying all day with free Amelie’s pastries and Smelly Cat Coffee at 10 a.m. followed by food trucks, beer tents and entertainment all day.

 

9th Street Station

Located on E. 9th Street between N. College and N. Brevard Streets

UNC Charlotte Center City 320 E. 9th Street – Even if you’re not a student, the university’s Uptown campus features an art gallery, book store, Einstein Bagels and event space.

Subsecreto325 E. 9th Street – The offbeat craft coffee bar and retail shop maintains an air of mystery with quirky books and gifts, snake membership pins and a secret bookshelf “portal” to another room. Get a shot of espresso in an edible cookie cup.

Subsecreto’s edible espresso cup made with chocolate-dipped shortbread

First Ward Park301 E. 7th Street – The 4.6-acre, light rail-adjacent park is equipped with outdoor fitness equipment and a sprayground.

McColl Center for Art + Innovation721 N. Tryon Street – The nationally acclaimed contemporary art center in a historic neo-Gothic church houses 9 resident artist studios and 5,000 square feet of gallery space. Free admission.

mccoll-center-charlotte

McColl Center for Art + Innovation

Waterbean Coffee616 N. Tryon Street – Local coffee shop with a lovely skyline view from the front patio.

Sports One521 N. College Street – The sleek sports bar and lounge is owned by Peter Thomas of Real Housewives of Atlanta fame.

Sunday brunch at Sports One via Instagram

Parkwood Station

Located at the corner of Parkwood Avenue and N. Brevard Street

Tompkins Hall (coming soon) – 340 E. 16th Street – The $40 million project will turn an old textile mill into a 135,000-square-foot retail, restaurant and office space that includes a 20,000-square-foot multi-vendor food hall.

Abari Game Bar1721 N. Davidson Street – The grown up game bar features classic arcades, pinball machines and video game consoles.

Abari Game Bar

25th Street Station

Located at the corner of N. Brevard Street and E. 25th Street

Free Range Brewing2320 N. Davidson Street – This brewery is a family operation created by brothers Jeff and Jason Alexander. Check their events for upcoming activities.

Amelie’s French Bakery2424 N. Davidson Street – The French bakery’s flagship location is open 24/7/365. Try their famous salted caramel brownie, a Charlotte classic.

36th Street Station

Located on E. 36th Street near the corner of Cullman Avenue

This stop puts you in the heart of NoDa, a thriving arts district with too many points of interest to list. Check out a more thorough directory of all the restaurants, shops, music venus, galleries and more on the NoDa neighborhood website.

These are a few Agenda favorites:

Neighborhood Theater511 E. 36th Street – Live performance venue in an old 1940s-era movie theater

NoDa Company Store3221 Yadkin Avenue – Neighborhood hang out with a great back patio. Daily sangria specials, featured food trucks and rotating artwork.

Haberdish3106 N. Davidson Street – Trendy southern restaurant with a killer cocktail program

hushpuppies-haberdish-charlotte

Haberdish

Crepe Cellar3116 N. Davidson Street – Cozy European-style gastropub

Evening Muse3227 N. Davidson Street – Casual acoustic music venue

Salud Cerveceria / Trade & Lore – 3306-C N. Davidson Street – Combo brewery and coffee shop

Salud Cerveceria / Trade & Lore

Growlers Pourhouse3120 N. Davidson Street – Serious craft beer joint with a beer-centric food menu

Smelly Cat Coffee514 E. 36th Street – Coffee shop and roastery

Reigning Doughnuts3120 N. Davidson Street – Walk-up doughnut window in a former storage closet behind Growlers

Reigning Doughnuts

Salud Beer Shop / Fud at Salud3306 N. Davidson Street – Combo bottle shop and casual food counter serving unique wafflewiches and waffle cones filled with everything from spaghetti to pulled pork and pimento cheese.

Heist Brewery 2909 N. Davidson Street – (Also very close to 25th Street Station)

Benny Pennello’s2909 N. Davidson Street – Known for monster pizza slices the size of your head. Open late. (Also very close to 25th Street Station)

Brooks’ Sandwich House2710 N. Brevard Street – This walk-up burger window has been a Charlotte favorite for more than 40 years. It’s a cash only operation with one long communal table outside. Get your burger “all the way” with homemade chili, mustard and onions. (Also very close to 25th Street Station)

cheeseburger-from-brooks

Brooks cheeseburger “all the way”

Sugar Creek Station

Located at the corner of E. Sugar Creek Road and Raleigh Street [*Park & Ride lot*]

Zoewee’s4112 N. Tryon Street – Traditional Liberian restaurant

The Station House600 E. Sugar Creek Road – A mixed-use development that includes plans for office, retail, residential and hospitality uses

Charlotte Art League600 E. Sugar Creek Road – Charlotte’s oldest nonprofit art gallery offering monthly exhibits, working studio spaces, outreach programs, creative workshops, member opportunities, and community events

Crown Station Coffee House – 3629 N. Davidson Street – Coffee house and pub with regular comedy performances, live music and open mic nights (formerly located in Elizabeth)

Crown Station via Instagram

Old Concord Road Station

Located at N. Tryon Street and Old Concord Road [*Park & Ride lot*]

The Last Word5744 N. Tryon Street – Buy, sell and trade used books and media at this sprawling store.

The Last Word via Instagram

Tom Hunter Station

Located at the corner of N. Tryon Street and Tom Hunter Road

El Taco Veloz6701 N. Tryon Street – Casual strip mall taco joint with a 4-star rating on Yelp.

South 21 Jr.6920 N. Tryon Street – Classic American diner serving Charlotte since 1955.

South 21 Jr. via Instagram

University City Boulevard Station

Located at the corner of N. Tryon Street and Stetson Drive [*Park & Ride garage*]

IKEA8300 IKEA Boulevard – Sorry.

Topgolf – Plans are in the works for a new entertainment district that will include Charlotte’s second Topgolf location. Read more.

My life at IKEA. Bet this would fit in a light rail car.

McCullough Station

Located at the corner of N. Tryon Street and McCullough Drive

University City Regional Library301 E. WT Harris Boulevard – 24,500-square-foot community library

Thai House230 E. WT Harris Boulevard – Family-run Thai restaurant with a 4-star rating on Yelp

Le Kebab Mediterranean Grill350 E. McCullough Drive – Middle Eastern restaurant

Banh Mi Brothers230 E. WT Harris Boulevard – Vietnamese sandwich shop with over-the-top loaded fries

Banh Mi Brothers via Instagram

JW Clay Boulevard Station

Located at the corner of N. Tryon Street and JW Clay Boulevard [*Park & Ride garage*]

Ninety’s Ice Cream & Sandwiches9009 JM Keynes Drive – Family-run ice cream and sandwich shop with creative novelty treats like cookie dough pops and macaron ice cream sandwiches

Ninety’s cookie dough pop

Dave’s Paddleboats8933 JM Keynes Drive – Paddleboat rental at the Shoppes at University Place

Paradise Valley Par 3110 Barton Creek Road – 18-hole public course plus a family-friendly mini golf course

Lazeez Mediterranean Grill9311 JW Clay Boulevard – Family-run Middle Eastern restaurant

Lazeez Mediterranean via Instagram

UNC Charlotte Station

Located on Cameron Boulevard on the north side of campus

UNC Charlotte9201 University City Boulevard – Home of the 49ers and 29,000 students

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Katie Levans Loveluck
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Co-Founder and Creative Director